I live in St John’s Wood and I am a mummy to a very lively 4 year old.
Before entering the world of motherhood, my world was a very different place. I started off while in University back home, as a features writer and sub-editor and graduated to being an investigative journalist for a national broadsheet. I worked in legal policy development in areas like Human Rights, Environmental Protection and Media Censorship, while simultaneously sitting both my bar exams and my LLB. Subsequently, after dabbling for a brief few months in advertising, television news casting and banking in the ineluctable, “finding myself phase”, I ended up doing a masters at the University of London and working as a corporate lawyer specialising in Private Equity. For many years, I was ambitious and driven and had little time for anything outside of my beloved job (thankfully, I have a super supportive husband). I loved the rush, (believe it or not) the sleepless nights and the fascinating work, but after a long and incredibly hard, heartbreaking journey, my body and my gynaecologist made it pretty clear that I had to choose if I ever wanted to start a family. So I did and never looked back. Now years later, struggling unsuccessfully to have a sibling thus far, I sometimes wonder whether in fact, the long hours and the adrenalin and the titles (all of which I absolutely loved) were in fact, worth the effort in the end.
But be that as it may, when I was blessed with my tiny little miracle, I wanted to make sure I got everything right. I wanted to raise my little one the way I was raised. I wanted my child to be as busy and active as I was and in order to do this, I had to find as many activities in the area as possible, whet them and then decide on which ones were best suited. This took a lot of time and effort. Moreover, everything was such a blur and time was passing so quickly that I had to rely on friends in surrounding areas to help me with nurseries, schools, paediatricians, and just about everything else. Somehow, even though I had lived here for 10 years, I felt like I really didn’t know anything when it came to where to go and what to do for my baby.
Now, here I am, hoping to help some other somewhat bewildered soul out there who has just had a baby or is thinking about it and feels like she is being blown around like a dandelion seed caught in the wind. Schools, doctors, meals, milestones, everything is dissected and analysed in such great detail these days that I found that I was constantly second guessing myself and trying to do everything that everyone told me which in turn was driving me mad. I had to sit down and get my thoughts together and do my own research in order to achieve some sense of sanity.
Most people will appreciate that while it is hard enough to raise a child, raising a child and being confident that you are doing it right is that much harder. So I spent hours on baby sites detailing every possible milestone and what can be done to achieve them and then decided for myself what was important to me. A lot of the time, I found that if you just stuck to the basics and adapted those simple rules to suit yourself and your family, everything else just fell into place.
So, in a nutshell, the reason I started this website is because over the last few years, I spent so much of my time trawling through different websites and forums to get as much information as possible on all those topics that relate to raising a child in today’s world that my head was quite often spinning at the end of it all. I thought it would be a good idea to create a space where mums and dads who live in St John’s Wood and the surrounding areas are able to post ideas, exchange news, information on schools, recipes, holiday destinations, upload interesting pictures and share any knowledge they have gained, be it through parenting or just living life in the area. There is a lot of information out there and a lot of opinions but it is all on so many different sites that it is quite hard for a mum or dad who has a set number of hours to herself or himself to trawl through. So I thought it may be helpful to throw a few things I’ve learned over the last few years together, collate everything as it were in one place so that it is a little easier to research and digest.
Furthermore, I found that increasingly mums I met were asking me about various activities I took my little one to and asking me for advice on schools etc and I just thought that if I made whatever information I had gathered, freely available to everyone, it would possibly help at least a few of you out there. I do realise that there is probably a great deal that I have missed out on or not covered but hopefully, those who read these posts will find some time to contribute and make it a forum where mums and dads can find what they need in one place.
The St. John’s Wood mums are a pretty close knit community and it would be great if everyone felt it was worth their while to just browse or post their opinions about parenting and living in St John’s Wood. It would be of immense help to mums who are new to the area or other mums who may have lived here for a while but are for whatever reason, unaware of what the best nurseries are or what the cut off dates for school entries are or where to buy a gift when they are in a rush or who the best doctor is or which surgery is better to register at etc. I hope that anyone new to the area will be able to get a feel for what it is like to live here and start a family and bring a child up in this lovely neighbourhood and I hope that even the seasoned mums will find something useful within this website.
I do hope that people will find the website useful (both the generic posts as well as the specific ones) and will share their own experiences and air their opinions. Please do feel free to contact us and let us know if you feel that the website can be improved in any way. Let us know if you feel it should cover any other topics as well or even if you like it just the way it is.
If you prefer, you can also check out and comment on our Facebook pages.
Our community page is located at https://www.facebook.com/mumsinthewood
Our Education group is located at https://www.facebook.com/groups/445015259038323/?fref=ts
You can find us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Mumsinthewood
Happy reading and (fingers crossed) contributing!